Papers of Richard Rawle

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the activities of Richard Rawle as Principal of Codrington College in Barbados, and as Bishop of Trinidad. Letters from Richard Rawle's wife, Susan, to her Aunt (Miss Harriet Blagg of Cheadle) and to her sister-in-law Fanny (Mrs. Charles John Blagg of Cheadle). Also, letters from Mrs. M.C. Layton, widow of a West Indian vicar and Principal of the Girls' School on the Codrington College estate.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Rawle was born on the 27 February 1812 in Plymouth, England. He was educated at the New Grammar School in Plymouth, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1839 he was ordained as a deacon and as a priest and accepted the living of Cheadle in Staffordshire.

In 1847 Rawle resigned from Cheadle and accepted an invitation to become Principal of Codrington College in Barbados; the College had been founded in 1710 by Christopher Codrington under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He resigned from his post as Principal in 1864 due to ill-health and returned to England, first in convalescence and then, after refusing the offer of an honorary canonry in Ely Cathedral, as acting vicar of Tamworth in Staffordshire (1869-1872). On the 29 June 1872 Rawle was consecrated in Lichfield Cathedral as Bishop of Trinidad.

Rawle had married Susan Anne Blagg at Cheadle parish church on the 14 January 1851. She died on the 1 March 1888, whilst on leave in England, and was buried in Cheadle churchyard. Rawle resigned as Bishop of Trinidad in the same year and reaccepted the post of Principal and Professor of Divinity at Codrington College. He died at Codrington College on the 10 May 1889 and was buried in the college burial-ground.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 186 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index, compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.